Islamabad - Rebuffing media reports, the Election Commission of Pakistan on Sunday clarified that the deadline to file objections vis-à-vis the proposed delimitation of constituencies has not been extended and April 3 is the cut-off date.

The clarification comes after a section of the media claimed that the date to file public objections has been extended till April 24.

“These are absolutely baseless reports. There has been no extension. April 3rd is the last date to file public objections,” a senior official of the ECP told The Nation. He said that all the objections received within the cut-off will be decided by May 3. He said that around 349 objections have so far been received from across the country.

He said that the poll body was strictly following the law in carrying out the exercise.

The ECP remains indifferent to the recommendations firmed up by the National Assembly’s special committee which has termed the poll body’s proposals regarding the delimitation flawed.

The official said that with the date for filing objections expiring in three days, the recommendations made by the working group spoke of ‘a hidden agenda’.

“Why are they not following the law framed by the Parliament itself?, he asked and added “if they find any flaw, the law provides a procedure for redressal.

On the other hand, the NA special committee has recommended an amendment to the Constitution to pave the way for holding the next general election on the basis of old demarcation of constituencies.

Federal Minister for Privatisation Daniyal Aziz, who is the convener of the working group, said on Saturday that recommendations have been sent to the special committee headed by NA Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi.

He alleged that the parliament had been misled to amend the Constitution to provide for delimitation on the basis of provisional results of the census and said the working group has also recommended the formation of a federal inquiry commission to probe ‘dubious objectives of the flawed delimitation exercise’. Aziz said that the working group has also recommended that the Supreme Court should be approached against the delimitation exercise and the recommendations of the working group be adopted by the National Assembly through a resolution.

He said the recommendations firmed up by the working group had clear objectives which included non-interference in the working of the ECP and holding of elections in time.

He also accused some officials of the Statistics Division and the ECP for failing to attend the meetings of the working group leaving many questions unanswered. He alleged that the election commission had refused to disclose the names of members of its delimitation committees.